Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Chris Botti: Italia

Chris Botti

With Italia, trumpeter Chris Botti is now firmly planted in a multi-year homage to jazz classics with an emphasis on their softer side. Botti has made it clear that he’s inspired by the mellow side of Miles Davis and was taken with the idea of creating several mainstream jazz projects. Those waiting for the smooth-jazz follow-up to 2003’s A Thousand Kisses Deep might have to reconcile themselves to the hard fact that Botti’s smooth-jazz days could be over.

Italia is very much a worthwhile excursion into Botti’s Italian heritage and inspirations, although those who have worn out the grooves on When I Fall in Love and To Love Again might get that déjà vu feeling. As with those projects, the best songs come from high-profile duets. Familiar Botti contributor Paula Cole shows more vocal range and expression in “The Very Thought of You” than most singers manage in a lifetime, while Andrea Bocelli does the same on the title track, one of two original songs on Italia. The other, “Venice,” was co-written by David Foster and is the closest thing to a smooth-jazz song Botti has created in four years. Finally, there’s the classic “I’ve Grown Accustomed to Her Face” which-thanks to modern technology-allows Botti to duet with the late, great Dean Martin. Many are turned off by these grave-robbing excursions, but this one sure sounds cool.

Start Your Free Trial to Continue Reading

Become a JazzTimes member to explore our complete archive of interviews, profiles, columns, and reviews written by music's best journalists and critics.
Originally Published